Hubble views a supernova in a spiral galaxy
An exploding star has been spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope in a galaxy 70 million lightyears away.
The Hubble Space Telescope has observed a supernova in a spiral galaxy 70 million lightyears away. The galaxy, known as NGC 2525, is in the Southern Hemisphere constellation Puppis, and the bright supernova can be seen as a blue flash on the left side of this image.
Supernovae are stellar explosions caused when stars over 1.4 times the mass of our Sun begin to use up their fuel towards the end of their life. The star collapses in a matter of seconds and explodes as a supernova (for more info, read our guide What is a supernova?)
The supernova pictured here is known as SN2018gv and was first spotted in January 2018. Supernovae like these can be used to measure distances in space, enabling astronomers to calculate the expansion rate of the Universe.
More Hubble images:
- Hubble spies a spiral within a spiral galaxy
- Hubble spies a ghostly galactic collision
- Hubble images the death of a Sun-like star
Release date 1 October 2020
Observatory Hubble Space Telescope
Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess and the SH0ES team / Acknowledgment: Mahdi Zamani
Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Staff Writer. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.